I'm from Bulgaria too, and even if i don't write in the forum very often, i reed the posts almost every day.
See 323, what can i tell you about Bulgaria: If you want only facts, look in Wikipedia. But this is a very beautyfull country whit rich history and warm peoples, having some difficulties passing from communism to democracy. I'm 38 and i have lived in communism( till 1989) and now I can say that we live in "interesting times". As about our currency-bulgarian LEV-we have a currency board here and 1,95583 lev= 1 euro. On 1 january 2007 Bulgaria became a member of European Union and maybe in 2011-2012 we will accept the euro as a currency. I also collect bulgarian papermoney, and I think they are very beautifull, especially emissions 1922, 1925, 1929, and the new hybride polimer note-20 leva. It's a commemorative note for 120 years of the issuing of the first bulgarian banknote in 1885- 20 leva-gold. It has a replica of that note on its back.
Yes, the earlier notes look like the Russian notes, that's because they were printed in Russia, but you are wrong-there were also gold sertificates, not only in silver. There are no many notes in high grade left and that's why they are high priced. The most unexpensive notes are from 1951. They worth about $0.5-1 in UNC, except 1 lev that is rare in UNC, and 500 leva that was not issued and worth about $65-70.
The new hybrid 20 leva worth $20 and if anyone is interesting I can send it to him. Just write and ask!
See 323, if you want some more information about Bulgaria- please, be my guest! I'll be glad to answer your questoins and to satisfy your curiosity!